Did God have the upper hand? A six inch gaping wound revealed itself in the bathroom mirror. Where were the seamless stitches the doctor had meticulously sewn the day before? Gone. My knees wobbled, and the room blurred.
My husband’s strong presence of mind took charge. He came from behind me and with one hand applied direct pressure to the surgery site; with the other hand, he whisked me toward the front door.
The weekend. This meant a late night run from our home in the country to the emergency room thirty miles away while contending with blood soaked towels and panicked children. Many sutures later and after the drama of hideous, long days, cancer became my diagnosis, and I’d thought the ordeal of pain and blood that single night enough.
Soon the oncologist visit rested behind me; a wide incision loomed ahead. More time. Stolen. More pain. Inescapable. How could this happen when I had much to do and so many depended on me?
Life seemed to wrangle my arm behind my back, push me to my knees, and slam my cheek to the cold floor. Ever been there? Pinned. You fight back, wiggle and squirm, but in spite of your best efforts, the bully laughs and claims he has the upper hand.
The kids used to pile on my husband, Randy. I don’t know how the man took it. A marble under his toe was snatched without much effort. A toehold equaled a weak grip. The marble placed under the sole of his foot got a little bit trickier, but once that foothold was defeated and that marble moved to Randy’s fist? Game over.
The boys would go for his fingers prying them up one by one while the girls dangled from his arms. The muscles in Randy’s neck would tighten, each finger would clench and lock down again, and surprisingly the harder the kids fought the more Randy grew still—frozen—an impenetrable fortress.
The enemy of our souls will seem to sit down on our God given dreams just as breakthrough crests the horizon. He presents as unmovable.
One by one the kids would drop—exhausted. They’d roll on the floor and giggle. After all, it was a game with a lesson about habits becoming strongholds.
Games aside, life’s struggles are real. Or are they?
I have no doubt the enemy can deceive us into believing he’s bona fide—especially when we’re sick or hurting—but when he does? The victory is close. Was the battle not fought and our enemy defeated long ago? Thanks be to Jesus. The invisible beckons us to keep going. Never give up. Surrender not.
None of this is new to most of you. We’ve been carefully taught the Word, and we know Satan’s a liar. True reality says hope overcomes one way or another. But in the thick of things when you’ve absorbed blow after blow, when you’re bloodied and weary, and cruel attacks continue to hammer and bruise your heart, the fight boils down to choice. Though numb? You choose. Though discouraged? You reposition.
One by one those kids got up again. Renewed, they took their Dad back on with vigor. The smile would fade from Randy’s face as he postured.
Who do you think finally had the upper hand?
Though the accuser told me cancer would kill me, and that I’d not live to rear my children. That was not my reality. The truth is whether I live or die I belong to the Lord. Truth denies Satan a voice and believes God’s whispers instead. Our days are purposed and known by a wise and loving Father. He is the Upper Hand.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
“Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Listen for His Whispers